||ENDS AND MEANS IN CONFLICT 45 He moved a worm from the path lest it be killed. A Franciscan brother who denied hospitality to robbers was directed to find the robbers' den and invite them all to supper with the brothers. A number of the robbers, it is reported, changed vocations in emulation of Francis and joined the brotherhood. Francis tamed the wolf of Gubbio by recognizing their brotherhood. "Brother Wolf" was severely lectured for his depredations and put under pledge to change his ways, which he did. Francis preached to the birds who responded with obedience and love. Late in his short life, Francis recognized our relation to Brother Sun and Sister Moon in the luminous Canticle to Brother Sun.76 At the end, he welcomed "Sister, the death of the body."77 By living what he sensed, Francis foresook a military career for the way of peace. Through his example others followed. He helped to shatter a feudal structure based on military obligation and characterized by a constant state of war. Somehow our ego must contract as our self expands. We become empty. We peel ourselves like an onion, layer by layer. National and personal pride go, as does attachment to possessions, guilt and fear, projections onto the "other," whether our mate or our international enemy. Our common core humanity remains, the self that is like and unlike all others. Thus stripped, we would have no difficulty in seeing our universal sister- and brotherhood immediately. Thomas Merton said it best: Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one of us is in God's eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. ... I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. But this cannot be seen, only believed and understood.78 76 The Little Flowers of St. Francis (R. Brown trans.) (Garden City, New York: 1958). 77 R. Goff, Assisi of St. Francis 121 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1908). 78 T. Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1968).